Home team Away Team

London Irish

  • Tagicakibau,
    Penalty goals: Humphreys (3),
14 - 19

Northampton

  • Wilson,
    Penalty goals: Myler (4),
    Conversions: Myler,

Aviva Premiership: Northampton battle to a hard-fought victory

Last updated: 3rd November 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Sailosi Tagicakibau scores try for london irish v northampton

Sailosi Tagicakibau touches down for the Exiles' first-half score

james wilson london irish right

James Wilson (R) is congratulated by skipper Phil Dawson after touching down

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Teams

Also see

Northampton cemented their position behind table-toppers Saracens with battling Aviva Premiership victory at London Irish.

Full-back James Wilson crossed for Saints in the first half and fly-half Stephen Myler kicked 14 points as they made it five league wins from seven matches with a 19-14 success.

Wing Sailosi Tagicakibau grabbed the Irish try with number 10 Ian Humphreys adding his side's extras with the boot.

All eyes were on controversial Australian James O'Connor who took centre stage for his Irish debut just a few days after signing a contract until the end of the season.

The versatile 23-year-old Queenslander, who has amassed 223 points in 44 caps for the Wallabies, took his bow at full-back and impressed throughout with his running skills as he seeks to rebuild his career following a series of off-field misdemeanours.

O'Connor was in the thick of the action from the start with a pass which almost put wing Topsy Ojo in for a try. But he was powerless to stop Saints from taking the lead as a Myler penalty pushed them ahead after Irish infringed at a ruck.

Humphreys replied for the hosts after Northampton were guilty of illegally playing the ball on the ground at a ruck.

Saints power ahead

Myler regained the lead for Saints with a penalty which deflected over off the inside of the right post and Wilson raced over for the opening try, cutting in off the right wing and taking a reverse pass from George Pisi in his stride to go over the line virtually untouched.

Myler converted and added a further penalty as Saints showed no signs of missing their England contingent of Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Lee Dickson and Ben Foden.

Humphreys slotted home a three-pointer in between Myler's conversion and third penalty success and Irish suddenly found an extra gear on the stroke of half-time with quick ball from a ruck being swept along the line and O'Connor's final pass to Tagicakibau put the wing over for a fine try.

Trailing 16-11 at half-time, Irish were right back in the contest. However, they failed to build on that promise and they were unable to force their way over in the second period despite a dogged effort.

O'Connor showed his class and skill with a silky run through the Saints defence before being stopped in his tracks. Humphreys missed a difficult penalty chance but succeeded with his next effort to close the gap to just two points.

However, Myler responded in kind with his own penalty and Irish's late pressure - with one move lasting 25 phases - failed to break the Saints resolve.

Sky Bet Odds:

Click Here for Your Free Bet
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 3rd October
Aviva Premiership
19:45Bath vs Saracens
Saturday 4th October
15:00Harlequins vs London Welsh
15:00London Irish vs Northampton
15:15Gloucester vs Leicester
Sunday 5th October
14:00Sale vs Wasps
15:00Newcastle vs Exeter
Friday 10th October
19:45Leicester vs Harlequins
Saturday 11th October
14:30London Welsh vs Newcastle
15:00Saracens vs Gloucester
15:00Exeter vs London Irish
15:15Northampton vs Sale
Sunday 12th October
14:00Wasps vs Bath
Friday 14th November
19:45Gloucester vs Harlequins
19:45Northampton vs Exeter
Saturday 15th November
14:00Sale vs London Irish
17:00Bath vs Newcastle
Sunday 16th November
13:00Leicester vs Saracens
15:15Wasps vs London Welsh
Friday 21st November
19:45Harlequins vs Sale
20:00Newcastle vs Gloucester
Saturday 22nd November
15:00London Irish vs Bath
15:00Exeter vs Wasps
Sunday 23rd November
13:00Saracens vs Northampton
15:15London Welsh vs Leicester
Friday 28th November
19:45Bath vs Harlequins

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com